Cone Health: National Report Misstates Local ICU Beds

Cone Health: National Report Misstates Local ICU Beds

4:56pm Mar 26, 2020
Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. Image courtesy: Cone Health

Health care providers in Greensboro say they’re prepared to offer intensive care services to COVID-19 patients. That comes after a national report ranked the city among the lowest in the nation when it comes to ICU bed capacity. But it turns out, the numbers were wrong.

An NPR analysis of data from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice found that Greensboro has 23 ICU beds. According to Dr. Brent McQuaid, a Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician at Cone Health, that number is way off. McQuaid says the system has 95 to 100 ICU beds in Greensboro alone, and 130 when you count their partners in Alamance and Rockingham Counties.

“I was shocked by this. I’ve worked in some pretty big centers and I’ve always felt like the level of ICU care that we can provide here at Greensboro is really tremendous and on-par with what I’ve seen at other academic centers," he says. "I knew right away that had to be inaccurate.”

McQuaid says Cone Health is equipped to convert other spaces within its hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.

“We’ve identified those rooms in our facility which are capable of using higher-level life support interventions,” says McQuaid.

He says there’s room to expand their ICU services, as well, by using ventilators the system has bought and repurposing ventilator equipment normally used for things like surgeries or transporting patients.

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